Rhinelander parks director planning to retire
City plans to post internally to replace Gunder Paulsen
BY KEVIN BONESKE
A longtime Rhinelander city employee is planning to retire after the end of this year.
The city’s Parks, Buildings and Grounds Committee on Monday heard plans related to replacing that department’s director, Gunder Paulsen, who has yet to give his official notice for retiring.
“What I would like to bring to (the finance committee is) just this news and bring to them the proposal of doing an internal posting to see if we can get a qualified, interested party within the city, then work at doing a transition plan,” said city administrator Kristina Aschenbrenner, who also noted another current city employee that would be able to take over from Paulsen could be involved with next year’s budget and learn some of the skills necessary for the position.
Paulsen, who noted he has been a city employee for 30 years when including his time working at the golf course, said after the meeting he plans to make his retirement effective Jan. 4, 2017, which is slightly more than six years after a previous city administrator had recommended doing away with a full-time parks director position.
During Paulsen’s tenure as the parks director, he had been at odds with former city administrator Bill Bell, who proposed in 2010 to eliminate Paulsen’s position by consolidating “turf management” of the parks and golf course and utilize additional seasonal part-time employees instead of a full-time parks director position.
However, Paulsen disputed Bell’s claims about achieving more work production at a cost savings with the proposal, which was never approved by City Council members.